September 7 Evening Update
Enbridge’s response efforts continue to be focused on safely and efficiently meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sept. 27 cleanup deadline.
The number of personnel onsite is now at 1,360. Currently, there are 138,147 feet of boom deployed, an increase 25,636 feet from the last update on Sept. 3.
Shoreline restoration efforts are progressing along Talmadge Creek. Recent rains contributed to a natural washing of the creek bank and have resulted in some visible sheen in the creek and on the river, which response teams are containing and collecting. Submerged oil continues to be an operational priority for Enbridge as well.
School commenced today for most area districts. Over the weekend, Enbridge held mandatory safety briefings for the cleanup response team. Briefings emphasized the importance of following all traffic laws, including safe driving near school and bus zones and when children are visible. Alternative trucking routes will divert truck traffic away from school zones, downtown and other high activity areas. Assigned “road flaggers” will be giving school buses priority right-of-way through work areas in order to maintain the established bus schedules.
The use of heavy equipment, such as backhoes and dump trucks, will continue to be reduced over the next few weeks. Most roads that had been closed or had traffic restrictions have been reopened. Where necessary, roads will be watered for dust suppression.
Night cleanup activities are being reduced when possible. Cleanup crews have initiated later starting times on Sundays in response to residents’ concerns. Air boat operations will not start prior to 8 a.m. and residents should also expect to see fewer daily helicopter flights through the upcoming months.
The total number of contacted wildlife has reached 1,056. Approximately 693 animals have been rehabilitated and released, and 279 animals are currently in care at the Wildlife Response Center.
Media and the general public are invited for a tour of the Wildlife Response Center located at 14998 Old U.S. 27 N. in Marshall, Mich., on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. ET. Tours have a limited number of spots. Those interested should register for the tours by calling the public information hotline at 1-800-306-6837 to make a reservation.